Enlarger

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by nealjpage, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Well, it turns out the mayor of my fine city is a retired photographer and he's starting to sell off his equipment. I spoke with him today and am going to look at the stuff tomorrow. He says he has a 5x7 enlarger, although I can't remember what brand. What should I look for when I look at it? Any idea what a good one would be worth? I hope he has a 5x7 camera for sale, too.:p
     
  2. df3photo

    df3photo TPF Noob!

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    well, id say make sure it works... all the movements go up and down, open and close. plug it in see if the light comes one and that there is not light leaks. If you cant check to make sure it is square to the printing surface, at leas see if it leaves a nice perfect rectangle on the printing surface (when negitive tray is in)
    If its a color enlarger make sure the color filters are working and not broken, they can probably be replaced if they are... the nice thing with OLDer enlargers is they can be fixed up easily... (I used to do alot of that with B&W Besslers and color Omegas)
    as for price... depends on the make, age and working condition...

    good luck!
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A 5 x 7 enlarger is a huge piece of gear. If you're working in 35mm, it can be cumbersome to use.
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    So I checked them out. He's got a a Besseler 23cII, which is what I learned on. Has a Nikon 50 mm lens. The 5x7 is an Elwood, and you're right, Torus, it's HUGE. That has a Wollensak lens, although I wasn't able to see what size. He says that it was used for 4x5 mainly, though, so I suppose it as an 80 or larger lens. He wants $75 each for them. No timers, no trays, just the enlargers. Waddya guys think? I don't have a huge darkroom (it's my bathroom), so maybe I should just stick to the little 35mm guy that I have, but it sure would be nice to have something a bit more versitile.
     
  5. df3photo

    df3photo TPF Noob!

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    do you plan on getting a new place with a larger bathroom anytime soon? if it is priced right i would buy it and hang onto it... but thats me and i have 2 different enlargers sitting in my garage collecting dust...
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Well, actually, I just moved into a smaller place. My thought was to get a decent enlarger, mount it on some sort of cart, keep it in the closet when I'm not using it, and rolling it into the bathroom when it's print-making time. As for formats, I usually use 35mm, but I have a 6x6 that I really want to use more often. I know that the Beseler will support both types of negatives. However, I may want to start moving up formats--I'm keeping an eye open for a decent Speed Graphic, for example.

    This is my reservation: I've read and heard about people getting great deals on used darkroom equipment (free, for a song, etc) and I'm not sure if these items fit into the same category. The seller was a photographer for MANY years; I know this stuff was expensive when purchased "back in the day," but honostly, what's it worth to him now?

    Anyways, sorry about the rant. What do you guys think about the deal?
     
  7. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    The deals probably pretty good, but I wouldn't consider it if you are going to print from 35mm or 6x6. Basically you have a light source that covers a 5x7 inch negative, so if you were printing say a 10x8 from a 5x7 neg, the exposure for example would be say 10 seconds. If you then inserted a 35mm neg and blew up to 10x8, you would probably need 20 times the exposure at he same aperture, not withstanding what lens you used. Buy an old 6x6 or 6x7 enlarger.
     
  8. df3photo

    df3photo TPF Noob!

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    how much did he want for the unit? I heard of similar units going for around $300. If its in good shape and you have the money, I would say go for it. I on the other hand got both of my enlargers for free (no song...) one from my highschool then acouple years later one from my college... one a 35mm one a 4x5. I even got a old head from the college I started making into a pinhole camera...
    I would try to talk him into a cheap price. start around $100 or so. I think you would like it. then if you move to a 4x5 camera in the future you have it.
    good luck with it. the lenses are probably worth the $75 but never hurts to try to talk him down...
     

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